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The Tobias Ten: Photos that defined the week

RMN’s staff photographer breaks down his 10 favorites for the week of November 6-12.

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Cal Tobias/Rock M Nation

This past week was an eventful one for Missouri sports. At Faurot Field, Mizzou routed Tennessee and ended a four-year losing streak. Nearby at Mizzou Arena, men’s and women’s hoops opened their seasons, and at the Hearnes, volleyball earned a huge win against Georgia.

As Rock M Nation’s staff photographer, I have been tasked with assembling my favorite ten of the nearly 8,000 images I took this week covering Missouri athletics. Here is the Tobias Ten.

  1. Honor & Shaw do their best Lebron & D-Wade impression
Nick Honor, front, runs by after passing the ball to Aidan Shaw for a dunk in a game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Nov. 6, 2023, at Mizzou Arena in Columbia, Mo. (Cal Tobias/Rock M Nation)

When I looked at my monitor after taking this photo, the first thing my mind jumped to was the famous picture of LeBron James dunking as Dwayne Wade runs by the camera. Taken by AP photographer Morry Gash in Milwaukee at a Bucks game on December 6, 2010, it instantly became iconic, drawing many imitations and the attention of Lebron himself.

I showed this to some of my sportswriter buddies, and they instantly identified it as similar to the LeBron-DWade photo. The popularity of this photo makes this my Number One Photo of the Week. (But this list isn’t in order.)

2. Standing on Business

Cal Tobias/Rock M Nation

When the CBS cameras found Eli Drinkwitz on the field, standing with Brady Cook and Cody Schrader, he told a national audience that Missouri wanted to “stand on business tonight.” Cody Schrader took this to heart with an unreal performance, totaling 321 all-purpose yards, with 205 rushing yards and a 5.9 yard rushing average.

This was a tough shot to get; as after the game, when the team lifted Schrader up, every photographer in the stadium, and possibly the state, was clamoring to get the shot. But I was able to make my way to Schrader and the team and capture him here.

At the post-game press conference, Schrader said that being lifted up by his teammates was “the number one moment in his entire life.” So this photo above is of a guy experiencing the greatest moment in his life so far. And looking at him, it’s not hard to believe him.

3. Schrader: Stand-Up Guy

Cal Tobias/Rock M Nation

After Schrader was eased down by his teammates, he celebrated with the student section and then ran along the student section and the east bleachers, but not without stopping to sign this boy’s ballcap. He took so many photos with fans that he was the very last man out on the field.

That kid’s face honestly shows how we all felt witnessing Schrader Saturday night.

4. Truman the Paratrooper??

Missouri mascot Truman the Tiger parachutes from a prop plane onto Faurot Field before Missouri's game against Tennessee on Nov. 11, 2023, in Columbia, Mo. (Cal Tobias/Rock M Nation)

Before Missouri’s defeat of Tennessee, beloved mascot Truman the Tiger parachuted down along with another parachutist from a propellor plane. This was something they had previously hinted at, but this time they actually pulled it off. Other festivities included a B-2 Spirit bomber flyover and honoring the 2013 Cotton Bowl team.

5. Enter Shaw-man

Cal Tobias/Rock M Nation

Returning to the court, our next entry is Aidan Shaw’s entrance into the Mizzou Arena court ahead of the Memphis game. To understand why it’s significant, it must be noted that most Mizzou players enter the court somewhat stone-faced. Not Aidan Shaw, never Aidan Shaw. He’s turned up to 10 from the minute that elaborate new light show comes on to the buzzer.

6. Open the Gates

Cal Tobias/Rock M Nation

During player introductions, all eyes are, of course, on the players. But where was Coach Gates? During intros against Memphis, I turned around to look for him and found him leaning on the nearby basket. I turned off my flash and clicked at the moment a spotlight back-lit his head. Game didn’t go so well for him, but hey, it’s a long season.

7. Let Grill Cook?

Cal Tobias/Rock M Nation

Sometimes I feel that when you’ve seen one dunk shot, you’ve seen ‘em all. What difference does it make? But Caleb Grill and Tamar Bates proved me wrong, with Bates leaping into the air after Grill to emphasize his achievement.

8. Even more Shaw

Cal Tobias/Rock M Nation

Here, Shaw reaches over two UABP players to attempt to grab a rebound. There’s an oddly painting-like quality, it’s the kind of picture I’d like featured on the ArtButSports Twitter account. One day...

9. Block it like Larry?

Cal Tobias/Rock M Nation

This shot comes from the women’s game against Indiana State last Thursday. I asked several people in the press room if they knew anything about Indiana State, and the consensus answer was “Larry Bird went there.” While the I-State players did successfully block Abby Feit here, they were run out of the stadium 98-57.

10. At least we beat Georgia in something

Cal Tobias/Rock M Nation

On the Sunday after Missouri football lost 30-21 at #1 Georgia, volleyball avenged the defeat with a 3-2 win over the Dawgs. It was the latest achievement for a Missouri team that has earned an impressive record of 17-9 this season, and 9-6 in the conference. Here, Dilara Gedikoglu and Naomi Franco (17) embrace right after an official’s instant-replay call decided the fifth set for Missouri. Anticlimactic, but still fun.